Discussing next Council Presidency with Irish Government
Ahead of Ireland's seventh Presidency of the Council of Ministers, leaders agreed that the top priority must be growth, and discussed the Commission's proposal for a banking union, the Multiannual Financial framework negotiations and other priorities.
In talks on growth, President Barroso stressed that the European Commission has a growth strategy – called Europe2020 – "which sets out practical ways we can breathe new life into our economies."
To be able to support growth at European level, Europe needs a budget that is fit for that purpose. Negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework have reached a critical stage, and President Barroso said that "Neither the Taoiseach nor I want this to fall to the Irish Presidency to finalise. I am grateful for the very clear support Ireland has given to the Commission's proposal. The Taoiseach fully understands the value that the EU budget brings to Irish citizens and businesses. In the coming months it will be essential to defend the growth-friendly aspects of that budget."
Regarding the Commission's proposals for a banking union, President Barroso said that both he and Taoiseach "are determined to see the single supervisor in place as soon as possible," - not least because it is an essential condition for the future ESM (European Stability Mechanism) to directly recapitalise banks. "I will make clear at the next European Council in October that we must stick to the commitments we made in June," he said.
Leaders also agreed on the importance of continuing to fight high levels of the youth unemployment. A priority would be to establish a youth guarantee scheme and a framework for vocational training before the end of the year.
The President also paid tribute to the steadfast determination shown by the government and the people of Ireland to complete the EU/IMF programme. "I know that you will use the Presidency as an opportunity to showcase Ireland's commitment to Europe, as you have outlined to me today. I look forward to working with you, to help make this the best Irish Presidency ever".